Senate votes to expand Marines

| November 29, 2012 | 13 Comments

Yesterday the Senate voted to add 1000 more billets to the Marine Corps, all of which will be assigned to embassy security details, according to the Marine Corps Times;

It’s not immediately clear how this would affect the Marine Corps’ ongoing personnel drawdown. Current plans call for shedding about 5,000 Marines from active duty each year through 2016 as the service works toward a new authorized end strength of 182,100.

Mixed signals from Congress? No that’s impossible. Of course, this government reacting a day late and a dollar short from the Benghazi terrorist attack from 9-11 this year.

“Today, there are 126 U.S. diplomatic missions outside the United States without Marine Corps security protecting [them], including parts of Asia and Africa where we suspect that al Qaida is expanding its presence,” [Senator John] McCain said.

Extra Marines are needed, he said, because moving Marines from some diplomatic facilities to improve security at other facilities would be unwise. “Increasing one — as is necessary in light of the attack at Benghazi — cannot come at the expense of another,” he added.

And the military is also supposed to reassess the way they protect diplomatic missions, and the needs of the State Department for military security. The addition of a thousand Marines almost doubles the current size of 1200 Marines assigned to the Marine Corps Embassy Security Group, according to the Marine Corps Times. So, like in everything else, the military is supposed to help the civvies salvage their reputations.

Category: Marine Corps

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  1. USMCE8Ret says:

    If the Marine Corps goes about this smartly, they will screen individuals currently on active duty and allow them to make “lateral moves” to the MSG MOS. Given that, instead of recruiting to a new force, identify those Marines in MOS’s that are being “down-sized” and give them an opportunity to remain on active duty. I’m confident there would be quite a few takers.

  2. Spade says:

    Issue I have with this is will these new Marines come with expanded orders?

    I mean, when was the last time a MSG Marine actually shot somebody in defense of an embassy? Are they adding more security or are they adding more people to be paraded in front of a camera next time an embassy goes down?

  3. Flagwaver says:

    I think the last time a Marine shot someone while on Embassy duty, it was in Iran… and I believe that Marine was Courts Martialed… but my historical knowledge in that respect is not where it should be.

    However, I completely agree with USMCE8Ret. Let some of the troopies transfer into the MSG rather than get shit-canned. It would save the expense of training someone else who might or might not pass the classes after Boot.

  4. texaslawman says:

    MSGs must already be E4, so new ones wii come from existing troops.

  5. CWO5USMC says:

    Regardless of if they put more Marines on Embassy Duty or not, if the overall thought process is to make those little slices of America we call embassies or consulates safer, they need to change the ROE. Get rid of the contracted local security forces and put Marines on more than the inner perimeter….and let them use the force they deem necessary in order to protect their posts….to include deadly force. Otherwise, you’re not really putting anymore bite in the dog.

    Just my thought…

  6. Redacted1775 says:

    MSG duty is a special duty known as a “B-billet”, and like other B-billets it is not an entry level occupation. It’s open to Marines of all MOSs, preferably senior Lance Corporals (close to promotion) and above, with SNCOs and higher attending det commander school. The LCpls typically get promoted upon graduation of MSG School. I’m pretty sure it’s a 36 month tour, and once once finished the Marine returns to his or her primary MOS. Is there talk of making it an entry level occupation?

  7. Anonymous says:

    I agree with the sentiments expressed thus far. Expanding the number of MSG’s out there is an outstanding idea, assuming they’re allowed to do the S and G parts of that designation. If they’re just going to be for show and not allowed to fire a weapon in their own defense, hell…reduce the number to zero.

  8. Nik says:

    Sorry. @7 was me.

  9. streetsweeper says:

    Me thinks it is a dog and pony show, Nik. Shell game….nothing more. Until a bunch of MSG’s get killed by Washington’s stupidity, then the finger pointing will start all over and probably be pointed right at the Marines.

  10. DaveO says:

    Some things to consider:

    Marines are not meant to guard Embassies.

    Embassies have their own security, including local forces. Even Benghazi’s consulate had a local militia contracted to protect it (they failed, but by all accounts, they did shoot back).

    MSG are far from the flagpole. But are they receiving the same mental/emotional care their fellow Marines have access to (PTSD, divorce, grief, TBI, etc)? Nothing worse than an MSG meltdown in Mumbai.

    Adding 1000 Marines is overkill meant to cause ordinary folks to ask why, and introduce Benghazi to a public that still doesn’t know about it.

  11. streetsweeper says:

    @ Dave O: The Marines have guarded our Embassy’s since I can remember. My brother served a tour on MSG duty before going to Nam.

  12. Nik says:

    @9 You’re right, of course. You’d think they would have learned by now, but…well…politicians don’t learn so good.

  13. DaveO says:

    #11 Streetsweeper,

    Yep. Not now.

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